Home / Health / Medical Marijuana / The Drug War is Such a Violent Failure, the Surgeon General is Speaking Up for the First Time Ever

The Drug War is Such a Violent Failure, the Surgeon General is Speaking Up for the First Time Ever


It’s a new year, and finally, a new voice will be added to the drug war debate. The federal government will actually get scientific input on drugs, and it will make prohibition look all that much more absurd.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the nation’s top public health official, will be “presenting the state of the science on substance use, addiction and health,” in the first-ever report from that office.

“It’s time for us to have a conversation in this country that’s based on facts; A conversation that’s based on medicine and science.

Which is why I’m proud to announce that next year, I will be releasing the first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on substance use, addiction, and health. We’re going to look at the best science on everything, from heroin and marijuana, to alcohol and prescription opioids.”

The report’s broad scope will look at the impact of all drugs, legal and illicit, “with the goal of capturing the current landscape of the impact of alcohol and drug issues on health…” to work toward “prevention, treatment and recovery.”

The Surgeon General’s report will also address “ethical, legal and policy issues,” and those conclusions will be eagerly awaited by those who are fighting to end the senseless, immoral War on Drugs.

“Areas of focus in the report may include the history of the prevention, treatment, and recovery fields; components of the substance use continuum (i.e., prevention, treatment, and recovery); epidemiology of substance use, misuse, and substance use disorders; etiology of substance misuse and related disorders; neurobiological base of substance misuse and related disorders; risk and protective factors; application of scientific research in the field, including methods, challenges, and current and future directions; social, economic, and health consequences of substance misuse; co-occurrence of substance use disorders and other diseases and disorders; the state of health care access and coverage as it relates to substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery; integration of substance use disorders, mental health, and physical health care in clinical settings; national, state, and local initiatives to assess and improve the quality of care for substance misuse and related disorders; organization and financing of prevention, treatment, and recovery services within the health care system; ethical, legal, and policy issues; and potential future directions.”

The Surgeon General will undoubtedly confirm the preponderance of scientific evidence that has emerged on the medical benefits of cannabis. We have reported extensively on the various ways in which cannabis provides treatment for illnesses, both physical and mental. This should utterly demolish the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use.”

The fact that 23 states in the U.S. have recognized the benefits of medical cannabis, legalizing its use, should be reason enough to invalidate the Schedule 1 classification. A landmark study presented at the American Epilepsy Society showed the astonishing effectiveness of the cannabis extract cannabidiol (CBD) for treating epilepsy. The National Cancer Institute admitted that cannabis kills cancer cells. People use cannabis to treat a variety of conditions that arise from inflammation, such as Crohn’s disease and nerve pain, yet are being arrested for it and having their kids taken away.

We can only hope that the Surgeon General’s report serves to cure the primitive mindsets that still inhabit government, such as DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg who said medical cannabis is “a joke.” Tell that to the countless children whose lives have been saved by this incredible plant. To the drug warriors – child suffering – is a joke.

In the broader sense, the report should serve as a catalyst for government to change its stance on drug use and addiction. Instead of criminalizing this behavior—throwing people in jail, ruining lives and breaking up families—drug abuse should be treated by physicians and addiction centers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented data on drug overdose death rates from 2001-2014, and it does not look good.

“Prescription drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled since 2001

Opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 2001

Benzodiazepine overdose deaths have increased by more than 600% since 2001

Cocaine overdose deaths are up 42% since 2001

Heroin overdose deaths are up nearly 500% since 2001”

In addition to this, “alcohol is killing Americans at a rate not seen in at least 35 years”—increasing 37 percent since 2002. These deaths are from causes such as alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, and do not include deaths from drunk driving and other accidents. Contrast these statistics with cannabis, which has caused zero overdose deaths and causes virtually no driving impairment.

Clearly, the U.S. government’s approach to drugs is a failure. The criminalization of certain drugs, and the complicity in the use of alcohol and prescription pills, has only exacerbated the problem of abuse to epidemic proportions. Portugal, which took the opposite approach in 2001 by decriminalizing all drugs, has seen a drastic decline in drug use, overdoses and crime.

If the scientific input of the Surgeon General has any influence on government’s approach, we should move rapidly toward ending prohibition so drug abuse can be properly addressed. It will also highlight the fact that cannabis has potent medical benefits and causes no overdose deaths, which by any logic should bring decriminalization and freedom to Americans who use this plant.

  • This is the stuff we SHOULD be investigating and changing, not gun laws.

  • Friendly public service announcement:

    Jury nullification occurs when a jury returns a verdict of “Not Guilty” despite its belief that the defendant is guilty of the violation charged. The jury in effect nullifies a law that it believes is either immoral or wrongly applied to the defendant whose fate they are charged with deciding.

  • Although this is true you shouldn’t be posting it as a fact that the surgeon general says this. It really drops your credibility and takes away from the conversation

    • Fuck the surgeon general. What’s true is true.

    • All I’m saying that telling lies to promote your point of view does nothing for anyone’s credibility. I know the war on drugs is a war against everyone

    • that’s called clickbait and unfortunately enough these techniques have to be used here too to maximize the reach of this page.

    • Paul that’s BS AND YOU NO IT

  • From the article: “Clearly, the U.S. government’s approach to drugs is a failure.” Uhmm..no.. The government’s approach is far more than a failure, it’s an outright deceptive con perpetrated on the American people. Also from the article: “Heroin overdose deaths are up nearly 500% since 2001” That’s right. And the trend began once US forces secured the poppy crop in Afghanistan. That crop had been nearly eradicated under the Taliban.

  • Correction, the police’s war on drug’s. Most of the state’s agreed to end the drug war a couple years back, but the police are still strumming up war, violence, theft, and drug’s. Not on the state’s behalf either, for their own families benefit, and drug addictions. Shameful, and greedy, and sad it’s still existing in 2016. They should be making sure every single human over the age of 35 has a house, and making strict rules protecting home owners from foreclosures. They should be focused on helping their county’s animal control facilities convert into animal sanctuaries, and saving tax payers money by ending private breeding aka puppy mills. They should also be converting half of the prisons into community green house’s, and parks for our children. Perhaps even turn a few into natural herbal medicine education centers focused on health. Also they would save us some tax money just by cutting cabel in prison. Correcting the justice system would not be very hard for us all to do if they just stopped what they were doing and started working on these changes we all agreed on years ago.

  • They want you to buy THEIR drugs.
    Their overpriced drugs.

  • the only drug dealer on my street is the police informant. the cops give him drugs to sell


  • War on drugs = Was made to control the masses , Once you allow a unjust law to take affect they thought ok their stupid enough ill inject this unjust law !!

  • Is that Phil Mitchel

  • It’s getting good. . .lolz

  • Sux they don’t show diz truth on t.v

  • Didn’t see anything in the quotes that would suggest a turnabout in the drug war. It’s great to be optimistic, but don’t get your hopes up. It’s still government and they (the MIC) make a LOT of money on ANY kind of war.